‘Tis the season for lobster rolls, those often-pricey sandwiches stuffed with tasty lobster meat straight from the sea. Or, in the case of American Airlines, two pieces of bread with an orangey-white substance holding them together.
Yesterday, Ben “Lucky” Schlappig, creator of the One Mile At A Time travel site, flew from Los Angeles to New York City on American, which served up what he describes as possibly the “worst meal I’ve ever been offered in a premium cabin.”
What. Is. This.
Schlappig says he ordered what was described as a lobster roll with sweet potato chips off the business class menu, as he was curious to see how it would be.
What he got was an aluminum tub of tomato sauce, pickles, and what looked like a grilled white bread sandwich that was definitely not a roll.
Schlappig writes that he thought there had been a mistake, so he asked the flight attendant if he’d received the wrong item. But she assured him that yes, this was the lobster roll. Later, she told him that it was actually the “first-class” version because they’d run out of business class rolls.
He notes there was about “as much lobster meat on the sandwich as you’d get in a tub of butter.”
And while weaker-stomached folk than he might have trashed the sandwich and stayed hungry, Schlappig soldiered on and took a bite. It tasted “like they took soggy pieces of bread and then spread butter with tiny particles of lobster on it,” he writes.
“Fortunately I wasn’t that hungry, and have mostly stopped eating the meals on domestic flights as a matter of principle (and calories!),” he explained to Consumerist via email. “I had a few bites just to confirm it was as bad as it looked, but that’s it.”
Not up to expectations
Schlappig notes that he already has “appropriately low expectations” of American’s food, so it’s not something he would personally submit a complaint over, “but the average consumer would almost certainly be disappointed if this was their meal on a business or first class ticket.”
We reached out to American to ask if this sandwich lived up to the airline’s expectations for premium dining. American claims he was served the wrong meal.
“We apologize to Mr. Schlappig for his experience,” an American spokesperson told Consumerist. “During his flight, he was served the lobster grilled cheese with tomato soup instead of the lobster roll. The meal he was served is not up to our standards and we have shared his feedback with our teams for review.”
After we contacted American, Schlappig received that same explanation. It’s worth noting that this is what that item should look like when properly catered:
Schlappig, who says the sandwich he tried was “disgustingly awful,” tells Consumerist that American’s explanation only compounds the problem: “It actually makes it even worse if that’s intended to be a dish.”